This week he takes aim at: Rule by bludger, & justice by ouija board
- Double whammy looms for landlords – In a massive tax grab by the National Party, the country’s most notorious bludger -- Bill English -- now wants to close a loophole whereby landlords can use losses on rental property investment to reduce their personal income and at the same time claim the Welfare for Working Families handout.
I wonder if Bill will also close the loophole that forced the taxpayer to fund his Karori home to the tune of $1,000 a week despite the presence of two rather healthy incomes?
He’s very concerned about a hypothetical landlord earning $100,000 a year, who uses the existing tax laws to quite legally reduce his income by about $18,000. What about the flesh-and-blood politician who uses parliamentary rules to make others subsidise his million dollar mansion? What about the incentives that encourage tax avoidance?
If Bludger Bill is serious about stopping unjustified rorts on the taxpayer, here’s what he should do: firstly, as a goodwill gesture, stop all perks to parliamentarians; and secondly, abolish Welfare for Working Families so that well-off people can’t claim it (though I seem to recall the rather comfortable WWF poster family with its cell phones and iPod).
Will he? Does he have the spine? No, because National has no intention of rolling back any of the welfarism and the massive public sector built up by Helen Clark and her administration over nine years. They are quite comfortable with half the country receiving handouts from the state, but they want to suck more of your money away in taxes.
They can’t walk the talk, because they love Nanny.
2. Judges recall jurors sex break, use of ouija board – It’s high time the system that compels people to report for jury duty was reviewed. Such a system is analogous to military conscription, which to a libertarian reads as legalized slavery. This item recalls judges reports of reluctant jury members being dragged screaming back into courtrooms, and a juror who used a ouija board during a trial.
These sorts of stories do not inspire confidence in the jury system. Perhaps an improvement on the status quo would be the development of agencies with pools of professional jurors who could be utilized for criminal court cases. This would tend to weed out the sort of dross we read about from time to time – those chronic underachievers who lack the concentration and intellect to analyse evidence and testimony, and whose inept behaviour often result in expensive mistrials.
If the standards of our juries is to be raised, then the manifestly inadequate must no longer be forced into jury membership.
Like paying for competent justice, the justice system should be able to pay for a jury of high standard.
“When the people fear the government, there is tyranny - when the
government fear the people, there is liberty.”